Darcy Rive, editor of HISKIND, talks us through some of the designers who are rocking the maximalist trend in their designs this season…
In recent years, fashion has been undeniably pared back. A culmination of streetwear inspiration, the influence of Scandinavian design and the popularity of minimalism have resulted in catwalk offerings that are muted, wearable and versatile. Now, however, tides and tastes are changing. Understated is out; overstated is in. Maximalism is returning to fashion in every sense, from design and detail to fabric and colour. Here, we select our favourite emerging designers from around the world who are putting the fun, irreverence and extravagance back into our wardrobes.
Charles Jeffrey hails from Glasgow but is the darling of the London fashion scene thanks to his theatrical LOVERBOY collections and Club Kid fan base. Tailoring is extravagant and oversized with padded shoulders, loose sleeves and wide leg trousers that billow as you walk. The SS17 menswear also features swishy skirts and cinched corsets, showing this designer’s mission to push the boundaries of traditional menswear. Ripped jumpers, leather leggings and platform shoes also make an appearance in his SS17 collection, adding to this designer’s maximalist approach. There’s a touch of old John Galliano about Jeffrey, and when it comes to over the top fashion, that can only be a good thing.
Emerging Parisian brand Y/Project is headed by Glenn Martens, a Belgian graduate from the Royal Academy of Antwerp, and is already garnering a reputation for disrupting the classic French fashion scene. In the SS17 collection, rich magenta velvet tops with pirate sleeves run beside lilac coloured suits with voluminous sizing and cropped trousers. Ruffles run over the shoulders of jackets while sheer skirts and dresses float angelically. This collection has everything in it – heavy and light fabrics, bright and dark colours, tailoring and deconstruction, ruffles, frills, draping… Not knowing what will come next is what makes this brand an exciting one to watch. It’s all too much and it’s all too wonderful.
German-born, London-based womenswear designer Paula Knorr is clearly of the belief that more is more. She imbues her collections with an irreverent approach to design, material, colour and detail. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, her SS17 offering includes striking monochromatic graphics and illustrations, juxtaposed with dreamy watercolours in soft pink and warm orange. Trousers like tinfoil come with exaggerated frills while sheer dresses are embellished in carefree knitting, and epitomise this designer’s light-hearted take on fashion. Knorr is bright, bold and confident with her clothes, and she inspires the same in her wearer.
Nicola Brognano graduated from the Marangoni Institute in Milan and cut his teeth at labels such as Giambattista Valli and Dolce and Gabbana, preparing him for the launch of his eponymous label. His SS17 offering is a hybrid of streetwear and haute couture aesthetics with retro nuances and fun pops of detail. A shift dress comes with a gargantuan shoulder ruffle and styled with sports-striped booties. A slouchy tee sporting animal print patterning is tucked into a tiered petticoat skirt. A sheer dress has a high collar, layered sleeves and a frilled skirt. Brilliant red runs throughout the collection, amping up the attitude of the clothes. In 2016, Brognano won the Vogue Italia and AltaRoma ‘Who Is On Next’ competition, cementing his ‘one to watch’ status. In this case, we’re happy seeing red.
When it comes to menswear, no designer in recent years has caused as much excitement and adoration as Grace Wales Bonner. Winner of the prestigious 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, Bonner has already achieved great things with her eponymous label and established a reputation for luxurious, provocative menswear. Her SS17 collection holds a myriad of historical and cultural influences, resulting in embellished capes, cropped leather trousers and silk shirts. Accessories are of pivotal importance, with wide brim hats, hooped earrings and studded belts throughout the looks. Bonner exercises maximalism with constraint, and this makes her one of the most talented, creative and focused designers of our generation.